Thomas Varnish

Thomas Varnish is a PhD candidate whose research interests are focused on the study of plasma physics, which underpins fascinating astrophysical phenomena such as solar flares, black hole accretion disks, and pulsar magnetospheres. Specifically, Thomas studies a process called magnetic reconnection, an explosive reconfiguration of magnetic field topology in plasma that rapidly dissipates magnetic energy by heating and accelerating it. Supported by a MathWorks Fellowship, Thomas will investigate this phenomenon experimentally and continue his work on PUFFIN, a new pulsed-power facility at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center that could provide unique capabilities for laboratory astrophysics. As part of his work, Thomas is exploring the use of MathWorks products such as Simulink and MATLAB to carry out a range of tasks key to supporting research on PUFFIN, including circuit modeling, systems control, and data analysis. Through his individual research on other facilities and his work on PUFFIN, Thomas is making important contributions to the field of plasma physics, and helping to create a state-of-the-art facility that could support and inspire cutting-edge research in experimental astrophysics.



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